Devonthink and Indesign


Does anyone have experience or recommendations about using Indesign with DTPro? When I import a .indd file into a database, all of my image links break.


DEVONthink uses Quick Look plugins for these sort of documents – the preview of .indd files in DEVONthink should be about the same as it is in Finder. So, are the links working correctly in Finder previews of the same files?

I don’t use Indesign, so can’t test this.

If you click on the Text Alternative button in the navigation bar immediately above the panel in which the document is displayed, do the links then work?

Hi again,

Thanks for replies. Here’s what I’m doing so maybe part of the problem is my method.

The reason I’m importing to DTPro is so I can store substantially all of my working documents and folders there.

I’m not making a shortcut to the .indd, I’m importing the file so that I can delete it from my desktop. DT takes it and stores it somewhere else which is obviously why the links are breaking. Normal behavior since it’s like the .indd is being copied and moved.

I’m wondering if anyone knows of a way to import .indd so that it moves the links along with it and keeps them together in a folder? When I open the .indd from DTPro, I get a ‘found 3 missing links, would you like to relink?’ dialogue but then, of course I can’t navigate easily to the links (images) because DTPro has taken them somewhere else.

The first thing you need to ask yourself is “Why do I want these files in DEVONthink?” Seriously. I’m interested.

It seems easier when putting a project together to store all of its parts in the same place. I’ll have multiple text files, images, links, all kinds of stuff sitting in a project folder which I tuck away in DTPro. These projects often sit around waiting for next phase. Personally, I’d rather have them all in the database with everything else that I’ve cataloged and stored away. I guess I don’t use personal folders on my Mac like most other people do, I’ve actually just defaulted to DTPro for…everything, and since that’s the case I don’t want to have 2 or 3 stray folders for these special projects that require .indd work sitting on my desktop for a long time. It just seemed convenient to tuck them away into DTPro like everything else.


I’m thinking this through. (I’ve been in Graphic Arts / Printing for 28 years now so I am well aware of what you may be hoping to / needing to do.) The immediate problem I see is that the “folders” in DEVONthink are not folders. They are just a convenient view of files that are in a very different structure under-the-hood. This makes linking within DEVONthink very difficult. Not impossible, but difficult in the normal course of things.
This is also why your links break. If you link to a file on your desktop and import it into DEVONthink, the absolute link is still intact. When you delete that desktop file to clean things up, the link is broken. Trying to resolve the links would be a frustrating exercise.

A more likely scenario would be to work in indexed folders on your machine. But remember that DEVONthink is made for categorization and search more than file management. It is not a Finder replacement, as some hope it to be.

However, say you imported a folder containing an ID doc and an image. Command-D to place in ID and, if the DEVONthink database was visible, you could drag and drop from DEVONthink to the dialog in ID to link the file. This would be a valid link (though I’d have to test if a database Rebuild would change the file location for some reason)

  • Remember too that ID will create temp files when you open the document. If you have an ID doc open when you close the database, there is the potential that it could be treated as an orphaned file. When you close the ID doc, the temp file will be deleted. Checking the database, it appears all is well but I would be work cautiously at first.

Ahh… I thought there might be an issue. The location of the file in the database structure is not static so linking to internal files are likely to have broken links.

At this point, the indexed folder method is probably the best option IF you need to use DEVONthink at all for your process. Remember, that DEVONthink is not indexing metadata of many graphics fileTypes like the number of layers in a PSD file, the pixelWidth of a TIFF file, or the colors in an Illustrator document. I don’t want to sell you on another product (and I’m either the worst or the best saleman you’ll find 8) ) but you may find much better use in using Bridge (which you probably already have) for your design project management.


Ah! I didn’t even think about Bridge…thank you, I will take that to heart. I guess I was so focused on making Devonthink be the one and only. Thanks for setting that straight :slight_smile:

I too, have intentions of making DEVONthink the center of my universe, and for Support and research it really has become that. But when it comes to images / graphic arts, it’s not tuned for it like some other tools (though I continue to bother them about these things :laughing: ).

Bridge is one of those apps that gets forgotten in the shadow of it’s bigger brothers but is surprisingly capable as in graphic asset management. Cheers!